Story Type

A new style
We communicate with our readers using type -- lots of it. The challenge isto make the type speak through the use of distinctive shapes, styles, curvesand sizes.We've met that goal by creating a new typeface we call Mencken.
Readers should be able to recognize the importance of a story and its message throughthe kind of headline type that accompanies it. Headlines also play a key role in theorganization of a news page. Larger, bolder typefaces appear at the top and decreasein size to the bottom of the news page.
H.L.Mencken, pioneer journalist
Learn more about the namesake for The Sun's new type font.

Captions, graphics and info boxes
All Sun photographs are accompanied by a caption, usually directly below the photo,indentifying what's happening in the picture as well as the photographer. In the newdesign, the caption is larger and bolder. This same type, called Nobel and created by TheFont Bureau, will be used in indexes, information boxes and graphics.

New type reads well at small sizes
The smallest type in thenewspaper is known as theagate.
Readers see this type instock tables, sports statsand roundups, TV listingsand entertainment capsules,such as movies andconcerts. These lists arelong and require muchspace, so a special typefaceis used that allows reducedsize without compromisinglegibility.
The Sun recently switchedthe stock tables to anewer agate typeface calledRetina.
A version of this type wasoriginally created by typographerTobias Frere-Jonesof Hoefler & Frere-Jonesfor use in The Wall StreetJournal.
With the redesign, all ofthe agate in the newspaper,including the crosswordpuzzle clues, is now presentedin this easier-toreadtype.

Jean Fran├žois Porchez
Porchez Type Foundry

Jean François PorchezEvery newspaper usestypography to distinguishitself from otherpublications. The goalis for readers to beable to identify yournewspaper at a glance.

Most of the type youwill see in the newredesign was createdby Jean Fran├žois Porchez, a typographer inFrance, for the exclusive use of The Sun.You won't see it anyplace else for years.

We commissioned Porchez, an awardwinningcreator of type whose work iswell-known in newspapers in France -- healso designed the lettering for the publictransportation system -- to create a familyof typefaces for use in our newspaper,from headlines to the text.

Porchez is the President of the AssociationTypographique Internationale andteaches type design courses in Europe andconducts workshops across the world.

Understanding the new font
The most important type for readers isthe story text, known as body type. Ournew design modernizes the typeface andalso allows for an increase in the size ofthe body type. These factors combinedresult in improved readability.

What makes the new type easier toread?
The new body type has a larger "xheight,"which means the text is tallerand displays larger than the former bodytext. Meanwhile the ascenders, such aslower case L, remain the same.

It also looks darker. Why is that?
It is slightly bolder than the former font,and it has been optimized to the currentprinting conditions.

Won't the paper look boring with justone font?
No. We actually have several differentfonts called a family that have similarcharacteristics, but look different. Someare bolder, some are lighter and some arecurvier.We plan to use this variety to createinterest and depth on our news pages.

Why call it Mencken?
To honor H.L. Mencken's contributions toThe Sun. According to the London DailyMail, H.L. Mencken even ventured beyondthe typewriter and into the world oftypography. Because he felt Americansdid not recognize irony when they readit, he proposed creation of a special typefaceto be called ironics, with the textslanting the opposite direction from italicstype, to indicate that the writer wastrying to be funny.

< Previous page: IdeasNext page: FAQS >
Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun